Q-Racing Blog: One Memorable Year

Wayne Metcalfe is having an unforgettable year.

Quarter Racing Journal

Wayne Metcalfe is having an unforgettable year.

An iconic cliché states: There are no sure things in racing.

Well, here’s one. Owner Wayne Metcalfe will never forget 2016, especially the last half of the year. It’s a lock-down guarantee.

First — and most importantly — he survived open heart surgery and is doing well.

Second, his 2-year-old Koolnfamous, whom he owns with longtime partner Gene White DVM and breeder Jerry Cate, is the fastest qualifier to the $1-million Texas Classic Futurity (G1) on November 12 and qualified for the $3-million All American Futurity.

“Dr. White calls the shots,” said Metcalfe. “He’s great guy.” They traded one-third shares in two other youngsters for their two one-third shares in Koolnfamous.

“On July 28 I had open heart surgery at Scripps Hospital in San Diego,” said Metcalfe. “I was in the hospital for two weeks and then stayed at a friend’s home in San Diego for another week. I got home (Ruidoso) on August 15.”

Koolnfamous was entered in his All American Futurity trial on August 19. Metcalfe was at his home about eight miles from the track and couldn’t attend the trials. Fortunately, he could watch the trials live on RIDE TV.

A gelded son of One Famous Eagle, Koolnfamous had been improving throughout the year for trainer Toby Keeton and won his maiden in his fourth start by one-and-one-half lengths to score the fourth-fastest time from five qualifiers on the first of two days of trials. He was timed :21.648 for the 440 yards. The top-two qualifiers during the first trial day were Imperial Eagle and The Marfa Lights, the eventual top-two finishers in the All American Futurity.

 “I was flabbergasted,” said Metcalf. “The trainer (Keeton) had been bragging on the colt since February. I want the horse to tell us, not the trainer. The trainer was right. He just got better in every race.”

 In the All American Futurity, Koolnfamous had a clean trip and no trouble, however was never a serious threat and finished a creditable sixth. Jockey G.R. Carter Jr. — the all-time everything quarter horse jockey — noticed that the gelding was tired and decided it was best to give him a van ride to his barn.

After the All American Futurity, it was discovered that Koolnfamous had partial paralysis of a flapper (arytenoid) in his throat. That would restrict the air flow to his lungs. Surgery was performed and “He’s bouncing off the walls right now,” said Metcalfe.

 The only start he has had since the surgery came in his trial to the 400-yard Texas Classic Futurity. The improving colt with increased air flow to his lungs impressed.

 Koolnfamous bobbled at the start, then quickly found his stride and then the lead before the halfway point. He powerfully pulled out to a humbling 1 1/4-length win. His time of :19.813 topped the 12 trials.

“I knew he could qualify if he ran back to his All American (Futurity) trial,” said Metcalfe. “I didn’t know if he would.

“I dare to hope, but to have the fastest qualifier you have to think of winning.”

A Texas Classic Futurity trophy would brighten Wayne and Cheryl Metcalfe’s home after a year they will never forget.

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